Over the past year or so I’ve been seeking out small changes to my consumer behaviours which reduce my personal impact on the planet.
Each change or switch on it’s own might not move mountains, but I’m already starting to feel like the cumulative effect of consciously exploring options IS helping to reduce my carbon footprint.
I’ve retrained my brain to actually prefer the taste of dairy alternative milks to the point I actually taste the cows milk in tea and struggle with it. The rest of the family remain work in progress (Tigs is almost there with oat milk) but for the remaining milk drinkers in the house we have swapped to a delivered milk in glass option, removed excess cups of milk at bedtime in favour of water, and changed our mindset when low on milk to going without rather than going out for more.
I’ve swapped over to smol products delivery service of washing tabs for some time; paper packaged and zero plastic. With less chemicals per wash too, they’re an all round saver of the planet and the pennies. This year I took the plunge to switch over to the dishwasher range too, and so far so good – a brilliant product that does it’s job with less harm to the environment.
The use of cleaning sprays has of course been pretty important over the last year. That said, the constant manufacture and shipping of water based chemicals is pretty cray cray when you think about it. Refilling a new plastic bottle every time and adding to the plastic problem we have got ourselves into. By switching to refillable bottles, glass or a robust long term plastic, you don’t have to think too hard about the savings in carbon emissions and single use plastic that brings.
The shampoo bar. Properly zero plastic, but does it cut the mustard? Well this year I went there and the answer is yes. Admittedly, like so many eco friendly products, my bug bear is the cost – we need these products to become a cheaper option to hit the mainstreams, but functionally and environmentally – they work.
I am as guilty as the next 30 something of being lured into cheap seasonal fixes – a binge in primark or a dabble online. The supermarket purchases that fell into my trolley and the sale rail items I just had to have. Sadly, my wardrobe storage space, or lack of it, is a constant reminder of the scale of the problem. The throwaway nature of cheap fashion is a huge contributor to unsustainable behaviours of our time. This year I’m therefore committed to seeking sustainable options first – looking on eBay, Depop, Charity shops to get that instat buzz if I really need it at all – and above all the best option …walking away.
I should add, that when it comes to second hand clothes, there re of course exceptions – one of which is preloved pants LOL. That said, there are still choices. When your smalls become grey and threadbare and you need an injection of undergarment joy, check out Stripe and Stare – this sustainable tree made tencell pants tick alot of boxes. Fun, soft, comfy, sustainable… and with a subscription package for just £9 a month, I was all over the monthly new knick knocks. Theyre 95% compostable and arrive in recyclable, plant made biodegradable bags. Love this brand.
Oh the days when I thought the height of skincare was a disposable face wipe… needless to say a face wipe isn’t coming anywhere near my ahem, almost forty year old, skin these days.
Thank fully my approach to skincare has grown up a bit, and I’ve invested in a grown up skin care routine. It took a bit of getting used to to wipe a product on rather than wipe something off, but cleansing balms and oils are definitely a breath of fresh air for my skin. The Willowberry range has been my brand of choice – the botanical scents are right up my street and I love the fact that my skin is as clean as my conscience.
It has to have been THE ecological disaster of the past 12 months. I quietly swear in my own head every time I see a used disposable facemask discarded on the floor – which frankly is several times a day.
For that reason I wouldn’t be seen dead purchasing or wearing a disposable single use mask and never leave the house without one of the high quality ones I bought from stylecheat back in 2020. Again, not the cheapest out there but these masks have probably paid for themselves over and again. Plus, they actually look and feel stylish – something I never thought I’d be writing about a face mask.
It feels like I’m forever signing up to an eco friendly subscription package, but sometimes the products I want just aren’t on the supermarket shelf.
I was told about wild refillable deoderants a few months back and it didn’t take me long to source and sign up to my own plan. With lovely fragrances that can be adjusted each time, and selectable durations for delivery (12 weeks suggested), this is an aesthetically pleasing, low chemical, product that promises to save the planet – no sweat.
Reusable Sanitary Products
Now this swap was a biggy that took several months of thinking about before I bit the bullet. Having been introduced to tampons and towels like the rest of us from a young age, the very idea of washing out period blood felt a step that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready to take.
That said, the very idea of my used sanitary products being washed out to…well, I’m not really sure… was enough to spur me on to give this a go.
So I’m now four or five months in and honestly – I have never looked back. I chose the wear em’ out range and have found my periods come and go with a feeling of satisfaction that I generated no grim smelly bi-products; my body just did its thing. Amazing.
For the final entry to my plastic free champions, I want to give a little nod to the humble brown paper bag. Because sometimes there is a need to use a thing, but by thinking outside of the box, or rolling back the years, we can reverse engineer some of our over complicated solutions of the eighties and nineties. Plus, I like to feel like Pete Beale on the fruit and veg stand sometimes. Apples and Pears.
(No affiliated ad links, just stuff I really love)